A new advertising campaign and an item of research I came across recently highlighted how colour can be used to attract customers – but also if necessary repel them!
An advisory team of academic and commercial market researchers were asked to work on a rather unusual project for the Australian Government. They were tasked with designing cigarette packaging which would effectively minimise the products’ attractiveness to the customer, thereby reducing demand.
Research conducted with 1000 regular smokers determined that a ”drab dark brown” colour was the least appealing of all. The colour chosen was Pantone 448c. Described as “dirty” or “reminiscent of tar” the panel had nothing positive to say about the colour. The new packaging design is due to be on the shelves for December and will carry large graphic health warnings and also the brand manufacturers’ names but written in a small generic font. I will be interested to find out how effective this controversial campaign will be!
Another colour that I find creates strong opinion is yellow. In the current Dulux advertising campaign a vibrant yellow colour is painted on to the bedroom walls of a son clearly outstaying his welcome with his parents. The idea is that having woken up to such a strong and perhaps undesirable colour, the son leaves home. Dulux say -“make your home yours again, re-stamp your personality with Dulux and remind your guests they’re only visiting”!
Yellow can certainly stimulate the emotions and certain types of yellow can create a feeling of anxiety, so indeed not perhaps the best colour to induce feelings of calm and relaxation in a bedroom. But it does have its postive qualities too!
More than 50% of the decision to purchase a product is based on colour.* Research from the CCICOLOUR Institute shows that up to 90% of our ‘subconscious’ assessment of anything is based on colour alone. Therefore colour is a powerful and essential ‘tool’ for any brand or product. Both the Australian Governement project and the Dulux campaign draw our attention to the way in which colour communicates, and has the ability to affect choice and behaviour negatively (albeit to create a desired effect). But if you want to be attracting customers to your product or brand, which colours will you choose?
(*Research by Secretariat of the Seoul International Color Expo 2004)